Traveling to America

The Railroad from the East did not connect to St. Louis until 1857. Therefore, it is likely that all our European immigrants took a steamboat down the Ohio River and another steamboat up the Mississippi River to get to St. Louis. The Lucash family came up the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

"A normal mode of emigrating from Germany to St. Clair Co., Ill, in the 1840's, was to hire a teamster in Germany to transport you and your family to the port city of Bremerhaven or Bremen in northern Germany. The ocean crossing might take from 30 to 60 days, depending on the weather. You might have landed at Baltimore. At Baltimore, you hired another teamster to take you to Pittsburg, Pa."

From Pittsburg you would take a riverboat down the Ohio River to the St. Louis area. You hired another teamster to take you to the new farm area in St. Clair Co., Illinois." This historical description should be true for our European immigrant ancestors that made this trip about 15 years later.

Due to the mass emigration from Germany, it became a buyer's market for the local farms. You sold your farm in Germany for less than its real value and then had to pay more for the farm in Illinois than it was worth.

The information below was taken from an immigrants' letter dated 1833. The Lucash family arrived in New Orleans about twenty years later when traveling conditions may have improved. It took 47 days not 40 for the Lucash trip so it may have been bad weather that caused the additional travel time for their trip.

"The fare cost about twenty U. S. dollars. The trip lasted about 40 days. The passengers were most afraid of icebergs and had to bring most of their own food such as dried fruit, eggs and flour for the many days at sea. The young man writing the letter stated that a cooper came on board his ship at New Orleans and offered him a job making $3 a day. He refused the offer because the climate in New Orleans was too hot and the cholera was so bad the people were falling in the street and the dead could not be counted. He and his friends took a steam boat up the Mississippi but were put ashore in the middle of the night to fend for themselves."

Like the Lucash family this man eventually made it to the St. Louis area which was 1800 miles up river from New Orleans.

From the years 1850 to 1860 regional passports were given by the regional government. These records are stored in Prague. Prior to 1850 the passports were given in Vienna, but these records may be in Prague today.

After the year 1620, the nobility saw to it that people did not move around. It was a time when people and families stayed put. Prior to 1620 there was quite a bit of movement in the population. After 1670 a total of 66 % of the population stayed put. Between the years of 1592 and 1620 only 7 % of families remained in one town.

In 1908, Bohemia became a province of the new independent republic of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovakian government abolished the province of Bohemia in 1949. Since then Bohemia has been a geographic region, rather than a political unit. In 1848, after centuries of rule the Bohemians revolted against the Hapsburg's and lost. That unsuccessful revolt was most likely the principal cause of the mass emigration of 1848.

Many Bohemian patriots, sought to evade the consequences of their patriotic zeal, as the courts showed little mercy to those accused of political crimes. The revolution of 1848, or its aftermath may have been the reason Joseph L. Lucash, his second wife, Elizabeth Cross and family left Austrian-Hapsberg Empire for America.

The S.S. Campania was the name of the ship that brought Hugh McTernan (VI) and his wife Anne McGreal to America. It was commissioned by the Cunard Line in 1893. The ship was only two years old when they made the trip in 1895. It held over 2,000 passengers. It was built in Scotland and could do 22 knots per hour, if you could shovel 20.5 tons of coal per hour to keep it going. It once broke a speed record by crossing the Atlantic in 5 days, 17 hours and 27 minutes.

Two years after the S.S. Campania took Hugh McTiernan (VI) to America it was chosen in 1897 to be used in the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Celebration that was reviewed by Queen Victoria on the Anniversary of her 60th year of reigning the British Empire. The S.S. Campania was the largest ship of the Cunard Line. It carried 2,000 members of the Press and the entire British House of Commons during this celebration.

Around 1915, it was refurbished by the British for use as an aircraft carrier. In a collision with the battleship HMS Revenge in the Firth of Forth Sea off Scotland the S.S. Campania sank on November 5, 1918.

Michael McTiernan

N40 03' 09.4"
W75 24' 14.1"


Last updated June 16, 1998 MPM

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